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News on Instagram in September 2022: QR Codes as a Marketing Strategy

Meta is quietly launching a big update for Instagram in September 2022: From now on, posts, reels, and locations can be shared via a generated QR code. QR codes can be an effective marketing tool, which brands should know about. Learn more about the new feature on Instagram in September 2022 and how to use it for your marketing strategy.

a phone with QR code
a phone with QR code

Key Takeaways:

  • Now, QR codes on Instagram can be used not only to share profiles, but also to share posts, reels and locations.
  • QR codes are especially effective for brands, in virtual and in-store activations of shoppers.
  • Meta is responding to the younger generation’s interest in increasingly using Instagram as a search engine with this feature.

Quietly, it seems, Instagram has added content sharing via QR codes. So instead of sharing posts, reels, and locations via links or in the DM, it’s now possible for a broad user base to create QR codes. This can be an effective strategy for your next influencer marketing campaign to highlight special products or services.

Many users of the app belonging to Meta have already noticed the option for QR codes. While profiles on Instagram can be shared via QR code since 2018, this is the first time that the app enables this feature.

Leaker Alessandro Palluzi revealed on Twitter how Meta is currently working on the update, which could soon be available for all users. TechCrunch employees have also discovered this feature. An Instagram spokesperson told the online publisher of tech industry news TechCrunch that the QR code is intended to make it easier to share reels, posts and locations.

This innovation could be a reaction to the change in the industry that more and more young users in the USA no longer use Google or Google Maps to search for restaurants, for example, but rather rely on Instagram and TikTok as a source of information.

Instagram’s big competitor now is, of course, TikTok, which offers many opportunities for marketers thanks to its equally effective and appealing formats. Kolsquare has analyzed TikTok and helps you better understand the platform in the study “Influencer Marketing: TikTok, the social network of all possibilities“.

This option already enabled brands to direct potential followers and buyers to the respective Instagram account in campaigns thanks to the QR code. But the update in September 2022 offers many more opportunities for brand activation.

QR codes as a marketing strategy

Image by Mashable

So just click the three dots of any post and choose from the sharing options that creates the QR code. If you are using Instagram on the web, then just add a “/qr” to the end of the URL, which will generate a QR code.

How Can You Use QR Codes on Instagram for Your Marketing Strategy?

Evidently, QR codes are nothing new in the field of marketing and undoubtedly every branche can benefit from them. Musicians can share their concerts and releases, restaurants and galleries their locations, and stores their products.

Hence, QR codes (quick response codes) are usually found on billboards, in magazines and brochures, on websites and other marketing materials. They are then simply scanned with a mobile device, and direct potential buyers to the desired product, service or information about the brand. As a result, QR codes are particularly good for interaction and engagement. You can link your landing page, a phone number, or your brand’s social media accounts. It is good for sending a message. SMS or email marketing makes sense especially for sales, user support, product upgrades on demand and opt-in SMS registration.

Of course, you can also use a QR code to refer to an app of your brand that is available for download. The Angry Birds game has even taken this possibility to the extreme and created a “BirdCode” specifically for it. (This, of course, is not helpful for the QR code soon to be available on Instagram).

For e-commerce, QR codes should not be underestimated either, as you can activate customers both online and offline. Just provide a clear call to action (CAT) for this, otherwise your efforts with a QR code will run into the sand. If you use the Instagram QR codes offline, you should also provide a reliable wifi connection so that everyone can benefit from the QR codes.

Example of a QR Code Marketing Campaign on Instagram

Targeting shoppers through QR codes on Instagram is quite effective. For instance, the start-up Batch wants to enable retailers to sell directly to customers and simplify their reordering with QR codes via one click. Product posts on Instagram will make it even easier for brands to sell their products. Shopping via social media is a popular and versatile topic, read more about it on the Kolsquare blog.

During the Super Bowl, Coinbase used QR codes in a targeted and effective way. They showed a video in which a QR code, which constantly changed colors, drifted across a black screen, strongly reminiscent of a DVD screensaver. In addition, a generic techno song played along with it. The ad was a bit dodgy, looking like a virus. TechCrunch writer Amanda Silberling scanned the code and was redirected to the Coinbase website, which offered $15 worth of Bitcoins. No purchase was necessary. Chief Product Officer of Coinbase Surojit Chatterjee confirmed this ad was extremely popular and would have provoked more visitors than any before.

As Alessandro Paluzzi also tweeted, Instagram is clearly working on other updates right now. These include, for example, how Instagram plans to replace no longer available audios in Reels or the possibility to create an event.

Read the Kolsquare blog regularly to never miss any updates from the influencer marketing industry or follow Kolsquare on LinkedIn where we share all new articles, Kolsquare studies and more.

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

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